Preton on Wirth Consulting: Want to control print costs?
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Preton on Wirth Consulting – Want to control printing costs?

Want to control printing costs?

By Terry Wirth
May 21, 2013

Need to control the cost of printing? Who doesn’t? We recently subjected the PretonSaver Print Management solution from Preton Ltd. to a Hands-On Test and found that it offers a wide variety of ways for virtually any company (with IT staff or not) to monitor, track, control, apply printing rules and save toner/ink when printing to virtually any printer, regardless of vendor or class. For users without access to a server, there’s a cloud version of PretonSaver, and there’s also a home version that can be used both with or without network support, with PretonSaver Enterprise providing the most functionality.

In the 15-page Hands-On Test Report on PretonSaver, we explore and document the many features provided by PretonSaver, from basic ink and toner savings, to extensive printing rules. The report contains screen captures and analysis of virtually all PretonSaver’s features and functions, from installation, setup, configuration, and implementing print-tracking and printing rules.

As it relies on Microsoft’s SQL server, PretonSaver is Windows-only, so we installed PretonCoordinator and the PretonControl Management Software on our “clean” MS Windows 7 test platform. We also had to pre-install a full version of SQL server, which was more difficult and time-consuming than with any of the easily installed Preton software, so if you your company already has a working and current version (SQL Server 2005/2008/2012 Express, Standard, Enterprise and SQL Server Management Studio), you’re already ahead of the game.

Next, we had to install the PretonSaver Agent on our client PCs. We found that it was easy, and IT staff will certainly appreciate the ability to remotely deploy Agent and make it transparent to users. Finally, IT staff will love its ability to provide the same feature-set to locally connected (via USB) printers as they can to network printers–something that is difficult to do with other solutions.

Another benefit of the PretonSaver solution is Preton’s round-the-clock support. In fact, Preton insists on providing you with live help (via Citrix GoToMeeting) during the installation process. As we had a balky Microsoft SQL installation, this proved to be a valuable service, as the Preton support professionals proved to be extremely patient, knowledgeable, and congenial.

During our test, we found that never before has it been easier to monitor, track, restrict, and control networked or locally connected printers, and it can be stealthily accomplished without permission from end-users. In fact, representatives from Preton told us that administrators at a South African University discovered, monitored, managed, and tracked hundreds of locally connected printers that they didn’t even know existed.

Finally, configuring PretonControl (populating it with printers, users, and PCs) couldn’t be easier – once PretonSaver Agent is installed, toner/ink savings are realized and all viable information is automatically sent to PretonControl from the first print onwards – automatically populating PretonControl. From that point on, all a capable administrator has to do is create groups of printers and users, customize the printing rules and limitations per printing application, user, group, printer, or printer groups, and realize even more savings via intelligent management. Already have a user and group infrastructure in your organization? Not to worry, you can also import your existing infrastructure into PretonControl from Microsoft and Novell directory services.

For more comprehensive information, consult our comprehensive Hands-On Test of PretonSaver.

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